Where Foodies Come To Talk

What Really Happens when you Microwave Food?

The microwave oven is ubiquitous in most home across America. When Americans get hungry and want a quick, hot, meal, they no longer turn on the stove or oven — they pop something in a plastic container into the microwave, and in a matter of minutes they’re ready to eat a steaming bowl or plate of whatever suits their fancy. Twenty years ago the microwave seemed a miracle of modern technology. Today, it’s taken for granted like cell phones and big screen TVs.

But there’s always been a nagging question in the back of people’s minds when it comes to microwave cooking — how much, if any, of the basic nutrients are disabled when a dish is microwaved, as compared to baking, frying, or boiling? Of course, it’s always been obvious to food scientists, and then to the general public, that the best way to preserve and consume nutrient is in their raw and natural state. But who wants to eat a raw potato? Heat will always diminish the nutrient factor in any kind of food, according to nutritionists. And compared with other and more traditional methods of heating and cooking food, the damage to nutrients with microwave cooking is usually minimal.

Scientists have shown that the major nutrient influences in cooking are, first of all, the amount of time an item is actually cooked. The longer it remains heated the more vital nutrients are destroyed or disabled. Secondly, food loses a significant amount of nutrients when it is cooked with excess liquids, such as water or tomato puree — vitamins and mineral have a tendency to leach out faster and in more abundance when more liquid is used. That is why cooks are encouraged to incorporate their cooking liquids in their recipes — it helps retain minerals and vitamins that would otherwise simply be poured down the drain.

The way a microwave oven works is basically simply physics. The machine sends out waves on a micro frequency that are picked up by molecules of water in the food item; these molecules then generate a large quantity of heat as they vibrate with the micro wavelengths inside the food. The uniqueness of this style of cooking comes from the fact that cooking food in a microwave requires little or no liquid, whereas when a food item like carrots are boiled in water the water will turn slightly orange — indicating that some of the important nutrients have leaked away from the vegetable itself and are now contained in the liquid medium.

When baking and roasting food, the problem lies in the fact that the exterior of the food item is heated quickly while the interior of the item, such as a roast or a baking potato, takes longer to reach the proper temperature. This creates carbonization of the outside of the food, which is what chefs strive for in restaurants for flavor, but which actually destroys a good deal of the nutritional value of the food and has been linked to possible carcinogens.

The bottom line is that while not all the facts and figures are in about microwave cooking yet, scientists believe it to be one of the best ways to prepare food in today’s busy, time-starved world.  

Everything You Didn’t Know About Backyard Barbecue in Texas

History is muddled where the word “barbecue” is concerned. We don’t know exactly from where it was derived, but many historians theorize that the modern word came from the Taino word “barabicu” which described their own sacred fire pits. We now know that the word was stolen by Spanish explorers as early as the 16th century and transformed into “barbacoa.” They used it to describe cooking done on a structure above a fire pit, similar to today’s notion of backyard barbecue. We stole it for ourselves less than a century later. (more…)

Cheltenham Dentist Advises What Foods To Avoid To Have Healthy Teeth

Everyone agrees that brushing and flossing are two of the most important things you need to do daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. But do you know that what you eat and drink can also affect how your teeth will look? Every time you visit your Cheltenham dentist, they would always remind you to not only brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis but to also make a list of the foods that are going to increase your likelihood of developing tooth decay and plaque buildup so you can avoid them.

People often think that what we feed our bodies with will only show on our weight. While it’s true that what you eat will have a direct effect on your physical weight, not a lot of people are aware that what they chew in their mouths can also impact the state of their gums and teeth. You see, there are certain foods and drinks that help feed bacteria and as a result could lead to the development of dental caries. Plaque is a colorless film made up of bacteria that covers our teeth. If this is not removed daily through proper brushing, it could become the main cause of gum disease and cavities.

How do dental cavities develop?

It is worth mentioning that all of us develop plaque due to the bacteria that is constantly present in our mouths. These bacteria make use of the components in our diet as well as our saliva to thrive. Plaque can lead to the formation of cavities when the acids found in plaque starts attacking our teeth’s enamel after we eat. Without implementing a regular brushing and flossing habit, continual acid attacks will break down your tooth’s enamel thereby forming a cavity. If plaque is not removed, it can irritate your teeth and gums and this could lead to serious dental health problems such as tooth loss, bleeding and swollen gums and periodontal disease.

What are the foods and drinks you need to avoid?

Since you already know who the bad guy is – plaque – you should also know the factors that aggravate this build up and these are acids and sugars. These two are the main villains that are responsible for eroding your tooth’s enamel and creating dental cavities. Knowing what foods and drinks to avoid together with brushing and flossing will lead to a healthy oral health so you can smile confidently anytime, anywhere.

 

  • Acidic Foods

 

Acidic foods are foods that have a low pH level. Consuming these foods on a regular could compromise your oral health because these foods contain ingredients that will attack your teeth’s enamel leading to cavities and inevitably tooth decay. When your enamel is brittle, not only are you going to suffer cavities, it will also cause you to experience teeth sensitivity as well as teeth discoloration. Foods and drinks that have a high acid content are tomatoes, coffee, alcohol, lemons and pickles. Foods that are considered low acidic include lean meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, bananas, avocados, whole grains, vegetables and broccoli.

 

  • Sugary Foods

 

We have all been told to brush our teeth right after eating candy and there’s a good reason why. Sugar, in general, is not good for our teeth, which is why it is highly important that you brush it after consuming sugary foods. This is because the bad bacteria present in your mouth feed on sugars that result to the formation of acids and as mentioned previously, acids create cavities. Although it is impossible to totally eliminate sugars in our diet, the best course of action to avoid damaging your teeth is to minimize your intake of sugary foods and drinks. It is also important that after consuming sugary foods and drinks, never forget to brush your teeth because if sugar stays on for too long, it could attack your teeth. Your dentist will advise you to brush your teeth after every meal or if this is not possible, at least you should drink water after consuming acidic or sugary foods and beverages. Examples of foods that are high in sugar include desserts, cakes, ice creams, jams, cereals, dried fruit, soft drinks and candies.

The journey in preserving your oral health is a challenging one but if you start to make it a habit, it will not be as hard. Remember, brushing and flossing are not enough, you also need to be mindful about your diet.

 

How Entrepreneurs Can Eat Healthy While Maintaining a Hectic Schedule

Eating healthy is the key to living a healthier life and kick-starting a weight loss routine, but even though most people know this, they still make poor food choices. Why? Well, it’s mostly due to convenience and pure laziness.

The truth is that eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little preparation and planning you can make better food choices, which will result in a much healthier diet. This plays a role in weight loss and energy levels. Follow the tips below if you are serious about making a change and committed to eating healthier, regardless of how busy you are.

Pay attention to your snack purchases.

“Focus on your snack purchases. It is much easier to say no to an unhealthy snack while shopping than while you are hungry, stressed, and working. This method also helps avoid “I better eat this unhealthy thing before it goes bad.” — Matthew Kolb of All High Schools

Stay away from fast food.

“Avoid fast food as much as possible. While it is quick and convenient, it’s also the worst food you can put into your body. The amount of additives and preservatives is so high and unhealthy. Compare the calories in a fast food meal against a home cooked meal and you will be shocked.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd

Use the MyFitnessPal app.

“Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track all of your calories and macros throughout the day. This is the best way to help you keep track of what you are putting in your body and to prevent over eating. It’s a free app and syncs with a lot of other programs.” – Robert Cox, Founder & CEO of Sundog Structures

Smaller more frequent meals.

“Try to eat smaller meals more frequently. This is good for two main reasons. First, it keeps you energized throughout the entire day and second, you avoid feeling sluggish or tired after a huge meal. Packing small convenient meals also allow you to eat on the go and when in a rush.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy

Stay hydrated.

“Drink tons of water and have legit protein bars available when you need a boost. Make sure the bars are not stuffed with tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners that will counter the good in them. Unfortunately many of the protein bars on the market are not good for you, so read the label.” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

Create a long-term plan.

“Planning and preparing ahead makes things easier, such as creating a 2-4 week meal plan, then cooking all the meals in 1-2 days. You can also have smoothies, and ensure you schedule lunch meetings at restaurants that provide healthy options like salads or fish. Protein and snack bars are great, too.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot

Avoid simple carbs.

“Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates during the day. If you eat too much, you’ll get that tired groggy feeling within an hour or so and you’ll need to fight to stay at the same level of productivity. Take the time to plan out some meals and snacks to avoid eating something you’ll regret.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP

Meal prep.

“Meal prep. I’m sure this is what most would say but it really does pay off.  Having that meal ready to go during the week when it matters is something that you won’t regret. Only takes a couple hours total for the week.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help

Stay away from processed foods.

“Avoid processed foods as much as possible. That means no fast food and no vending machine snacks. Instead of getting a bag of candy, have a handful of nuts or trail mix. You don’t have to just eat boring salads, but you need to make an effort to cut out junk and processed food.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio

Get your meals planned in advance.

“You have to meal prep if you are serious. As an entrepreneur time is scarce and things constantly come up. If you attempt to eat healthy without your meals planned and cooked in advance it becomes very difficult. The only way to ensure you eat healthy daily is to prep everything in advance.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics

Stick to your plan.

“Develop a plan and stick to it. Most unhealthy habits are a result of varying from a plan. Sticking to specific schedules, finding alternative healthy eating options while travelling, etc. require some planning and practice.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com

Make time.

“Always make time to take time. Have breakfast, don’t spend the first 5 hours of your day living off coffee. Schedule lunch and take it. Remove yourself from the computer get a change of scenery. Be mindful of where you are eating and what, plan ahead.” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group

Remove sugar.

“Cut sugar. Something as simple as reducing sugar or removing it entirely from your diet can make such a huge impact. Instead of reaching for a candy car, grab an apple. It’s just as convenient, but the lack of sugar is going to result in noticeable weight loss over time.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags

 

Important Information About Essential Oils

Essential oils are basically highly concentrated oils which are usually extracted from roots, leaves, flowers, and other plant parts which are grown in farms like the Lavender Farms started by D. Gary Young of Young Living Essential Oils. Usually extracted through the process of steam distillation (which involves the application of steam until all the oil vaporizes), essential oils usually possess the characteristic smell of the plant from which they are extracted. Although the term “essential oils” is quite common, very few people can tell more about these concentrated oils in terms of how they work, their uses, benefits, and side effects. If you are among them, here is a piece that will leave you knowledgeable about essential oils.

How Are Essential Oils Said To Work?

For many centuries, essential oils have been used in ancient medicine and their use has currently been embraced in the modern-day medical arena. The main reason why these oils never lose their value is because of the diversity they possess in terms of usage. In aromatherapy, for instance, when molecules of any essential oil are absorbed through the skin or inhaled, they are said to affect metabolism, brain chemicals, hormones, and influence the nervous system and brain areas. Besides, essential oils are mostly used to boost mood, ease stress, get a good night’s sleep, and even repel unwanted insects.

How Are Essential Oils Used?

Inhalation: One of the most common ways through which people use essential oils is through inhalation. Since most of these oils are usually highly concentrated, it is always advisable that you do not inhale them directly from a bottle. To release any oil into the air you breathe, a device like a diffuser could be used. Some other inhalation methods include the popular steam inhalation or applying a few drops of the oil to a handkerchief, tissue or cotton ball and placing it near your face.

Topical Use: In addition to being highly concentrated, essential oils are also too potent for anyone to use them full-strength on their skin. In most cases, these oils should be diluted in a carrier oil (like avocado, almond, and apricot kernel oil) before they can be applied to the skin during spot treatment, an aromatherapy massage, a bath, or a spa treatment. Essential oils could also be found in candles, shampoo, lotion, soap, and bath salts.

Commonly Used Essential Oils

While there are hundreds of essential oils available, here are some of the most commonly used essential oils.

Eucalyptus: This oil is a common ingredient in steam inhalations to cure colds and clear throat congestion in the chest.

Clary sage: This oil could aid in relieving hot flashes as well as promote sleep.

Lavender: This essential oil is mostly used for relaxation and improving sleep.

Peppermint: This oil is used for headaches among other types of pain.

Rose: The oil’s soothing scent has been found to ease stress as well as menstrual cramps.

Tea tree: The tea tree essential oil is mostly used as a spot treatment for acne as well as treating fungal skin infections.

Rosemary: This oil has a stimulating scent which boosts focus and attention.

3 Reasons to Let Go of Pork in Your Diet

There’s a reason why a lot of diets discourage pork products in their coordinated meals. Pork is the bane of anyone wishing to get in better shape since it’s challenging to say no to a crisp and tender set of bacon strips. But if you’re looking to make a change and to update your diet, here are three big reasons why you have to let go of pork in your menu, no matter how difficult or painful it may be.

 

  • Pigs aren’t the best animals to eat

 

Though pigs are part of the top three staple meat animals along with chicken and cows, pork may not be your best option to eat based on the pigs’ physical nature. Pigs do not have sweat glands which translate to them not being able to sweat, to release the excess toxins in their body. In eating pork, you’re eating unfiltered flesh with a good number of toxins inherent.

Though it’s debatable that pigs still have livers and kidneys to filter out the excess junk that their bodies generate, it’s a tough call to consider since pork contains a high amount of saturated fat and packs a massive punch of cholesterol to boot. Having these in your body could lead you to develop heart disease as an example.

 

  • Home for worms

 

Yes, you heard that right. Pork is highly susceptible to being a haven for homeless worms. There’s a reason why pork meat needs to be stored in freezing temperatures before cooking. It’s because severely low temperatures lower the risk of having them present in your pork. Consider how I mentioned ‘lowers the risk’ instead of ‘killing them’ because even if you’ve frozen it well, worms can still be present in your pork if you haven’t cooked it well enough.

Here are a few common parasites that tend to live in pork meat:

  • Taenia Solium. A nasty parasite that can cause lack of appetite and tissue infection
  • Trichinella. A roundworm that causes myalgia, fever spikes, and severe edema
  • Salmonella. A tricky bacterium that can hide inside pigs unnoticed even after their death. It can induce fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

 

  • Pigs bred in the USA

 

Though we are in the land of the free, the US doesn’t always have the best track record regarding rearing pigs. Unlike farm cows that are allowed to graze around the fields, pigs are often kept in pens or even put inside claustrophobic living conditions as they require relatively low maintenance to breed.

As with any break-up, you will find it difficult to let go of something that you’re used to for a long time. Look for alternative dishes to try to get your edge off missing pork. There are some equally greasy-tasting yet superior foodstuffs you can look forward to from Asian cuisine to kosher restaurant in Manhattan. Saying goodbye to pork means you can say hello to a diverse new array of meat products; beef, fish, lamb, and more – all with higher protein values – makes for a healthier for you.

Image: Pixabay.com

4 Great Gifts for the Caffeine Lover in Your Life

We’re all at least mildly obsessed with caffeine, but everyone has a friend who basically makes caffeine a staple of their personal brand. This means that they would probably be extremely happy to receive some caffeinated gifts at every occasion. Here are some ways to get creative.

Online Coffee Company Subscription

Many trends are driven by e-commerce and the capabilities we have online, which also opens up new gift-giving options within many industries. One of these industries affected is the coffee industry, which is good to know when thinking of coffee lover gifts. Moustache Coffee Club is offering monthly subscriptions where coffee can be delivered to your door. Some companies are already doing this for wine, but nothing compares to having the necessity of caffeine delivered straight to you.

Coffee fanatics would love nothing more than to be graced with a new coffee to try every month. E-commerce makes it possible for us all to be coffee connoisseurs with these monthly caffeine fixes.

Coffee Themed Gift Basket

An excuse to give a gift is an excuse to buy a bunch of coffee flavors, scones, and coffee flavoring for a gift basket. Caffeine fanatics will love the variety and thought put into a custom basket.

Some coffee fans like to try out different flavors or add-ins, but might not purchase these ingredients themselves. This gift basket is a good place to try out new flavors and fancy coffee accessories such as milk steamers or stirrers. A gift basket also is a great place to throw in a mug that matches the gift receivers personality, making this a personal and functional gift idea.

Tea-Themed Gift

Tea is a calmer caffeinated beverage to focus on and there are so many gifts in the tea industry that caffeine lovers will be obsessed with. Some companies have great branding for their teas and the amazing flavors to support the packaging. An example of a brand that makes great gifts is Tea Forte. The packaging is adorable and unique, which is even more reason to give it as a housewarming gift or a care package. Tea is comforting and when it’s cute, it’s even better.

Another way to gift tea is by finding a beautiful tea set. This will also set you up for future gifts, so this is a good idea for a tea-loving family member or friend. You can gift a tea set and then give them teas and extra accessories to go with the set as holidays and birthdays progress.

Gift Cards to Different Coffee Shops

Starbucks isn’t the only coffee shop out there. Buying gift cards to local coffee shops shows an attention to detail and gives the gift receiver a chance to see new places. Small gift cards to a variety of local coffee shops will allow them to explore their city and test coffees from around different areas. Gift cards might seem like an easy out in the unwritten gift giving book, but they can be thoughtful with the right idea in mind. Even just giving a gift card to their favorite coffee shop shows that you pay attention to their lifestyle and want them to enjoy their next few coffees on you.

In conclusion, the best gifts are the ones that allow your caffeine loving family members and friends to branch out and try new products, coffee shops, or tea brands. There are endless gifts in this industry that would make many gift receivers happy.

Top 5 Atlanta Dishes

Atlanta has far more to offer the culinary world than just peaches. The southern city is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots for gastronomy on the east coast. It’s easy to see why; it’s local heritage has multicultural roots from european immigrants and african slaves in the past and latin american, middle eastern, and asian immigrants in recent years. Atlanta is truly proving itself to be a cultural hub. (more…)

Hot Dog History: The Weiner Winner

It has become the Fourth of July tradition in America.

No, not the fireworks. No, not the parties and picnics. And no, not the alcohol imbibing.

This tradition occurs in Coney Island but captivates the world.

A Polish immigrant named Nathan Handwerker started a single hot-dog stand in Coney Island in 1926 with a $300 loan and has turned it into a multi-million-dollar enterprise – which includes restaurants, an hot-dog product line found in virtually every supermarket in the country. (more…)

Texas Is Its Own Sovereign Of Foodie Republic

There is a reason that Texas was once its own country. And breaking away from the Spaniards was just part of it.

The other part is because of the food. Yes, food often divides the United States into several different regions, where the food specialties are relatively consistent among several states.

But in Taxes, the Lone Star State is not the Lone Starved State. It has its food taken to a very unique level – so much so that there are a number of food recipes that are either very unique to Texas or so different from other similar recipes as to be only a Texas version.

(more…)